Safari World Sea Bird Nest

Canon 5d Mark II, 70-200mm F2.8L IS @F5  1/200th  165mm  ISO 100


All the political turmoil these last few weeks has got me thinking.  Perhaps I'm off-base on this but these are my thoughts on this image.

A friend and I were driving through Safari World not long ago and we both knew that if you go very slow and keep your eyes open you'll see things others miss.  In this instance I spotted this empty nest not even 2 meters from the car.  At first my friend didn't see it but soon it was all we could see.

You see, the baby bird in the nest by itself was crying out in hunger for its mother.  Once you hear the sound you'll never forgot it.  It resonates through the trees.  It starts out and stays loud and doesn't stop until mom comes back with the grub.  Usually no longer than 10-15 minutes.  For some reason I decided to sit there and wait for mom and maybe photograph her feeding the chick.

10 minutes later, 20 minutes later, 30 minutes later.. no mom.  By now the chick had cheeped itself hoarse and we'd discovered a second chick that had fallen out of the nest to the ground and who was trying to conceal itself under some shrubs until mom got back.  We were in the tiger and lion pen and this chick instinctively knew.

40 minutes, 50 minutes, and my friend and I knew mom wouldn't be coming back.  Did you enjoy "A Tiger Story" from last week?  While waiting we were reviewing our images on the cameras LCD when we noticed the big sea bird the tigers were fighting over was indeed.. mom.  This image is significant because it documents nature, a tragedy (for the bird), and the back story.  The image by itself isn't that interesting.. but the back story brings it to life in a big way.


Seabird chick in nest at Safari World

Canon 5d Mark II, 70-200mm F2.8L IS @F5  1/125th  200mm  ISO 100


Back stories were made famous by Paul Harvey and his often emotional commentaries.  Now they're a normal part of the news cycle, made into movies, and we're starting to look for and expect them.  Movie DVD's often have "in the making" specials showing what it took to achieve certain scenes, interviews with original characters and more.. We've started to demand the back story finding it often more interesting than the main story.

How do you picture the ending of this particular back story?  Certainly not good for the chicks.  Though, some might find their struggles and eventual death "good tv." 

As we watch the political protests on our televisions and read about them in the news, and you learn people have died or been gravely injured, do you wonder about their back story?  Their lives, childhood, education, professional lives, family..  Tragedy comes in many forms.  The protests don't entertain me.  They scare me.  Tragedies in the making on a grand scale.